(San Francisco, CA)
Hi, thanks for taking the time to look at this
I was terminated on Feb of 2009 and my appeal hearing date is finally set for next week
I was fired for poor performance
When answering questions during my EDD phone in interview on February 24th, 2009, I was asked about an incident of “loitering after hours” at work. It’s particularly disturbing since at no time in my 25 months of employment with that company did I ever “loiter”. This seems to be the basis on which I was denied unemployment insurance benefits.
The company has not provided me with a written statement of reasons for my termination and when I asked for such documentation on March 5, 2009 by phone I was informed by the HR rep, that it is not company policy to provide such information in a document form but done verbally during the exit interview. So when i pressed her over the phone to ask for the specific reason was for the termination I was told that it was for “unauthorized access” to the various floors after work hours. During the exit interview at no time was there any mention of this. I was terminated as I understood it due to poor job performance. I find this strange as I have always had a master access keycard which was given to me on my first day of employment with the company in order to access all Sephora floors to perform my job duties which included the delivery of mail and packages.
This incident of unauthorized access or “loitering” is regarding the extremely busy final workday before the Christmas holiday break. An unusually large volume of UPS and Fed Ex packages had been delivered to the mailroom at various times throughout the day and I am one of two employees’ in the Facilities department who is responsible for the delivery of packages.
When I was off the clock at 4:30pm, there were approximately 6 packages in the mailroom area which had not been delivered to the recipients. Some of these packages were obviously Christmas presents (one was a very large box with a prominent Disney logo on it as well as another with a “Lego” toys logo. These were obviously purchased gifts and since it was December 24th, and the last workday before Christmas I knew that the recipients would appreciate receiving them so close to the wire. One recipient in particular, was extremely grateful that I delivered it to her as I knew she would be. These deliveries were done between 4:30 and 5:00pm. I had clocked out but knew that some of the recipients would still be at work as it was still within the normal business workday hours and often time, employees stay late.
I don’t see how this can be considered loitering or an instance of unauthorized access.
This wasn’t the
incident which got me fired. I was terminated over a month later due to mistakes such as leaving items in common areas and forgetting some assignments and therefore missing deadlines(specifically between the period of February 19th - February 30th 2009). It was my understanding that the reason for my termination was due to poor job performance.
Over the past year I have noticed that I have gotten much more scattered and forgetful with difficulty focusing and following through on tasks. As stated before, I had received written warnings from my manager for these seemingly simple, but continued mistakes.
It was at this time that I spoke to my doctor regarding these issues out of frustration and concern over my job security which was affected by these increasingly occurring frustrating memory and focus issues.
It was in November of 2008 that I approached my manager and voiced my concern over these persistent symptoms and the negative effect they were having on my work performance. I informed her that I had made an appointment with my doctor to discuss these symptoms.
The bottom line was that I was afraid of losing my job due to these simple mistakes.
My doctor diagnosed me as having Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and prescribed me medication (Adderal) on 11/19/08. I took it for over two months with no positive results so on 1/16/09 he switched me to a different medication (Concerta). At the time of my termination I was still incrementally increasing my dosage as the medication had not reached its optimal effect.
I have included a letter from my doctor documenting my condition and treatment.
This was more or less the body of the appeal letter with company/ boss's name pulled.
The scary thing is that I was given written warnings and even a final warning about these mistakes and tardiness but unauthorized access or "loitering" after hours was never something i was reprimanded for
Am I Dead in the Water?
I'd say no .. you are not. It sounds like maybe the employer switched their tactic at some point .. because "the poor performance issues caused by a medically diagnosed problem (I need to assume the employer was made aware if not let me know) makes the employer's case "dead in the water".
If they are going to pursue this "loitering" aspect, you will just have to respond with what you've said here as to the reason. You also have the right to subpoena any documents you like. I suggest you request the state file and see what documents the employer has submitted.
There needs to be a relationship between the incident that caused the termination and the date you were terminated. If the employer is saying you were terminated for an event that happened sometime ago and you have a reasonable explanation for it .. oops! Their bad, not yours.